The original village name was Ridgeway, since it was spread out along the upper edge of the escarpment above the Severn floodplain. Perhaps due to people mishearing the name, it evolved into Rudgeway. The former Methodist chapel built in 1896 is a small gothic structure. The church closed in 2001 and has been converted into a house.
The petrol station closed due to competition from garages in neighbouring villages. There is a restaurant, 'the Masons Arms'. South of Rudgeway a long straight section of the A38, known as the Mile Straight, heads towards Almondsbury.